Food & Drink Thursday, April 20th

Making ale with Hereford River Carnival and Wye Valley Brewery

Food & Drink Thursday, April 20th

Making ale with Hereford River Carnival and Wye Valley Brewery

The rise of the micro brewer has been reviving real ale sales for several years, simultaneously satisfying thirsty hipsters while shining new light on Britain's beer making ability. Last year a study showed an 8% rise in new breweries - some 1,700 across the country - with popularity and profitability showing no sign of slowing down.

Herefordshire is home to its fair share of successful small brewers, not least Wye Valley Brewery - producers of Butty Bach, HPA and 1985.

We recently spent a day at the brewery's Stoke Lacy HQ; mashing in, sniffing hops and realising that maybe, just maybe, if we'd paid more attention in chemistry we might be making beer as often as drinking it.

We were at the brewery to help Hereford River Carnival create a new beer for the 2017 event. The result - Thirsty Mermaid - is a fresh, fruity golden pale ale. You can grab a bottle when you head down to the carnival on the banks of the Wye in Hereford on April 28 and 29.

Until then, here's a behind the scenes look at how Thirsty Mermaid was made.

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Thirsty Mermaid was made and named as part of Hereford River Carnival's Name the Carnival Beer competition. Here's winner Karen Jackson from Tupsley with her partner John (both seated) collecting their prize of a dozen bottles of Thirsty Mermaid from carnival organiser Pete Redding.

The 2017 carnival kicks off at 8pm on Friday, April 28 when a colourful street procession promises to bring creatures from the Mappa Mundi to life. Mappa Mundi: Out of the Museum, Into the Streets will snake its way from Hereford Cathedral to Bishops Meadow where, at 10pm, creatures and characters from the medieval map will journey down the river. Expect lights, fire and interactive street theatre.

The following day thousands of people are expected on Bishops Meadow and Castle Green for arts, crafts, food, drink and sports. Highlights include an Indie Food Village with A Rule of Tum, The Beefy Boys, Old Granary Pierogi, Rocket Cafe and more; a dog show; Hereford Rotary Club’s annual Charity Duck Race; and live music stages curated by Nozstock Festival and The Music Pool.

For the full programme, head to

If you can help/volunteer on the day, find out more at

Karen Jackson, who won the Hereford River Carnival competition to name Thirsty Mermaid ale


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